Arkology

Arkology

by Lee "Scratch" Perry
     
 
Itchin' for some definitive foundation reggae? More than a few credit the demented production genius of Scratch, and not Bob Marley, with the real popularization of reggae. After all, while the Tuff Gong brought unearthly charisma, anthemic songs, and a messianic vision to the music, Perry created the sound. The bottomless pits of bass, hissing high hats,

Overview

Itchin' for some definitive foundation reggae? More than a few credit the demented production genius of Scratch, and not Bob Marley, with the real popularization of reggae. After all, while the Tuff Gong brought unearthly charisma, anthemic songs, and a messianic vision to the music, Perry created the sound. The bottomless pits of bass, hissing high hats, ghostly vocals, and myriad percussion were all the devising of a studio magician unequaled in any other music (some say Perry wrote Bob's best numbers, to boot!). His unorthodox techniques (burying master tapes in his yard, for example) and erratic behavior (he eventually burned down his own Black Ark studio) have made the Upsetter a legend, but proof is in the dark, funky tracks. This three CD retrospective contains seminal hits like Junior Murvin's "Police and Thieves," Perry's own "Soul Fire" and "Roast Fish and Cornbread," a creepy version of "Summertime" called "In These Times," and a double handful of richly redolent dub tracks. Extensive notes with interviews attempt to unravel the madness that is Lee Perry. --Mark Schwartz

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Dougan
Purportedly the definitive Lee "Scratch" Perry compilation, the three-CD set Arkology is loaded with good intentions and is carefully constructed, but with a back catalog like Perry's -- where it's nearly impossible to find out what's what -- definitive in this case is a dream. Still, the compilers have done a fine job of providing an overview of Perry's career that makes sense musically, historically, and culturally. For those who want to jump headlong into Perry's world, this is the way to go. (Otherwise, buying two to three individual releases would be recommended.) Arkology's foundation is the 1979 anthology Scratch on the Wire; the compilers took those tracks and added a significant number of remixes and a few previously unreleased dub tracks to give it some weight. And that is perhaps the set's biggest drawback; it doesn't cover quite enough of Perry's career. Remixes are nice, but a representative sampling of the early, mid-, and late periods at Black Ark would have been better, as well as a few of the early-'60s ska tracks that didn't make it onto Heartbeat's excellent Chicken Scratch compilation. There are also some irritating audio considerations here; sometimes reggae reissues lose that warm, extremely loud bass sound that is crucial to the riddims. That's not always the case on this release, but there are some moments when you wish there was just a little more blood coming from the speakers. So, all that said, is Arkology worth it? Absolutely. Don't think that this large purchase will give you all the crucial Lee "Scratch" Perry recordings; it provides a good overview and is an excellent introduction, but consider it the start, rather than the completion, of your journey with Scratch and the Upsetters.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/15/1997
Label:
Island
UPC:
0731452437921
catalogNumber:
524379

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Dub Revolution, Pt. 1
  2. One Step Forward
  3. One Step Dub
  4. Vampire
  5. Vamp a Dub
  6. Sufferers Time
  7. Sufferers Dub
  8. Sufferers Heights
  9. Don't Blame on I
  10. Much Smarter
  11. Much Smarter Dub
  12. Life Is Not Easy
  13. Life Is Not Easy Dub
  14. Tedious
  15. War Ina Babylon
  16. Revelation Dub
  17. Mr. President
  18. Chase the Devil

Disc 2

  1. Dreadlocks in Moonlight
  2. Dread at the Controls
  3. In These Times
  4. In These Times Dub
  5. Norman
  6. Police & Thieves
  7. Magic Touch
  8. Soldier and Police War
  9. Grumblin' Dub
  10. Bad Weed
  11. John Public
  12. John Public
  13. Roots Train
  14. No Peace
  15. No Peace Dub
  16. Rasta Train
  17. Party Time, Pt. 2

Disc 3

  1. Vibrate On
  2. Vibrator
  3. Bird in Hand
  4. Congoman
  5. Dyon Anasawa
  6. Rastaman Shuffle
  7. Why Must I
  8. Make up Your Mind
  9. Closer Together
  10. Groovy Situation
  11. Groovy Dub
  12. To Be a Lover (Have Some Mercy)
  13. Soul Fire
  14. Curly Locks
  15. Feast of the Passover
  16. Roast Fish and Cornbread
  17. Corn Fish Dub

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lee "Scratch" Perry   Primary Artist,Percussion,Vocals
Mikey Dread   Track Performer
Heptones   Track Performer
Meditations   Track Performer
Max Romeo   Vocals,Track Performer
Dillinger   Track Performer
Congos   Track Performer
Cedric Myton   Vocals
Leroy Sibbles   Vocals
Boris Gardiner   Bass
Cynthia Schloss   Vocals
Upsetters   Track Performer
Jah Lion   Track Performer
Pamela Reed   Vocals
George Faith   Track Performer
Theophilus Beckford   Piano
Watty Burnett   Vocals
Geoffrey Chung   Guitar
Danny Clarke   Vocals
Basil "Benbow" Creary   Drums
Ansel Cridland   Vocals
Glen DaCosta   Saxophone,Track Performer
Sly Dunbar   Drums
Bobby Ellis   Trumpet
Egbert Evans   Flute
Vin Gordon   Trombone
Raphael Green   Vocals,Track Performer
Junior Murvin   Vocals,Track Performer
Willie Lindo   Guitar
Barry Llewellyn   Vocals
Robert Lyn   Organ
David Madden   Trumpet
Candy McKenzie   Vocals
Earl Morgan   Vocals
Augustus Pablo   Melodica,Track Performer
Ernest Ranglin   Guitar
Keith Rowe   Track Performer
Robbie Shakespeare   Bass
Noel "Scully" Simms   Percussion
Earl "Chinna" Smith   Guitar
Keith Stirling   Piano
Uziah "Sticky" Thompson   Percussion
Winston Watson   Vocals
Winston Wright   Organ,Bass
Michael Campbell   Vocals
Ranny "Bop" Williams   Guitar
Junior Dread   Vocals,Track Performer
Aura Lewis   Vocals
Richard "Dirty Harry" Hall   Saxophone
Roydel Johnson   Vocals
Robert Johnston   Guitar
Lester Bullocks   Vocals
Devon Irons   Track Performer
Mikey "Boo" Richards   Drums

Technical Credits

Danny Clarke   Composer
Lee "Scratch" Perry   Producer
Trevor Wyatt   Reissue Producer
Steve Barrow   Liner Notes

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